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The Power of Knowing Yourself

To know yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. - Socrates

I have a confession to make – I’m a personality profiling junkie! I love personality tests and programs and have done many different ones through the years. But the reason I do them is because each test, each program, gives me new insight into who I am and why I do what I do. I get a little more personal freedom and less shame each time.

To know yourself is the beginning of all wisdom. - Socrates - Dressing Your Truth

Know Thyself

This ancient Socrates quote, Know Thyself, that was supposedly engraved on the Temple of Apollo, is so well-known I think it has lost its power. But I believe they are very wise words!

I have found that getting to know who I am, and who other people are, has been one of the biggest things that have helped me emotionally as an adult. I no longer get offended or annoyed with other people like I used to because I now understand where they are coming from and why they do what they do. I’m able to appreciate the way other people do things and get along better with my friends and family. Not to mention, the shame and stress I no longer deal with now that I understand myself! Do you want to know my secret? Well, I’ll give you a hint “Dressing Your Truth” more on that later.

I was taught that self-help isn’t for Christians…

I grew up as a Christian is taught that studying ourselves is humanistic, not Christian. That self-help books and teachers led us away from God. It was well-meaning advice, that God is the one worth knowing and not ourselves because He knows everything. But what they didn’t understand is that God created us with unique personalities and callings, gifts, talents and if we don’t understand our ourselves, we can make decisions that are not in our best interest, or take us away from our calling and purpose.

And I truly believe now that by getting to know ourselves, we ARE getting to know the very nature of God. Because He dwells within us, we are in Him and He is in us. His divine spirit is everywhere – and nothing can separate us from Him and His love.

It even impacts daily decisions as simple as how you like your coffee, or what clothes you decide to wear. If you don’t know yourself, those everyday decisions can be stressful if you are going against your own nature. If you LOVE to be comfortable but wear stiff, formal clothes because you think that’s how you’re supposed to look, then you’ll be uncomfortable all day and not feeling like yourself. It’s a constant state of stress, which as we all know, starts to lead to disease and other problems.

To know yourself - quote by Eckhart Tolle - Dressing Your TruthUnderstanding Yourself Releases Shame

I’ll never forget going to a First Steps to Success conference in Orlando, Florida with Dani Johnson and she had us separate into sections according to our personality type. She spent the next few hours addressing each of the four sections telling us about our personality. I cried, and laughed, and cried again.

For the first time in my life, I able to understand myself and to release a ton on of shame I had heaped upon myself for many years. I thought I was:

  • Disorganized
  • Messy
  • Flighty
  • Airheaded
  • Too driven
  • Too bold
  • Not able to be successful (because of the aforementioned qualities!)
  • Too emotional

When in reality, all it was is that I am (according to her program) a Sapphire/Ruby. Which means I’m motivated by fun and success, have a ton of new ideas, love people, move quickly from one thing to the next (not flighty), and because my energy is so high and my mind moves very quickly, I can tend to have a messier house. What I once saw as air-headed, I realized is my gift to lighten the mood, bring fresh ideas to the table, and have fun. Fun is an actual GIFT! I thought it was not something I needed in my adult life anymore and had suppressed it, even as a mom.

I’m able to make friends easily and put a smile on people’s faces, which I now own proudly (and wasn’t aware of before). I could go on and on about the things I once saw as flaws and now realize are just the nature God gave me.

The World Needs ALL Types

It is a beautiful thing to realize you are not broken or messed up – that you are actually designed to be a certain way because the world needs ALL different types! We need balance, we need varied skills. Not everyone is supposed to be ambitious, or be entrepreneurs, or be organized and orderly, or sit still, or be outgoing and friendly. It truly is best for the world when we live true to our nature, or things get really out of whack. Do you remember my hint “Dressing Your Truth”?

Carol Tuttle’s Dressing Your Truth Program

Carol Tuttle's book, It's Just My Nature -Author of Dressing Your TruthOne of my favorite personality profiling systems is actually an energy profiling system – Dressing Your Truth. Carol has a FREE course and I highly recommend watching all of it and reading her book, “It’s Just My Nature.” Her program takes all of the other programs I’ve done to a whole new level!

Learned Behaviors vs. Your Nature

It can often be hard to tell the difference between your true nature and learned behaviors, and therefore, hard to profile yourself. For instance, I was raised by two very strong Type 4’s, which means they are a slower movement, very methodical, deliberate, logical, and orderly. I’m pretty much the opposite of that, which had many benefits because I learned a lot of behaviors that have helped to balance out my Type 3/1 nature, which is a very high energy, fast-paced, determined, bubbly, nature. But I also had a hard time figuring out my own personality and way as a young adult because there were hardly any people in my family like me. Which isn’t a problem, I look back now and see how awesome it was for me to learn things I never would’ve learned if I grew up with parents who were just like me! Gave me a much more rich experience.

Among many things, my parents taught me how to be organized and keep a clean house, but it is not in my nature to do so, it is a learned behavior. I could take a personality test and end up profiling myself incorrectly, thinking I am organized and orderly. But it’s a learned behavior, not my true nature.

So I love Carol’s program because it uses more than behaviors to profile people – it looks at the movement of the person – the way we walk, hand gestures, voice tone and infection, facial expressions, and facial shape and movement.

Knowing Yourself and Your Children Makes Life MUCH Easier!

Understanding myself has helped to release SO much stress in my life. I no longer fret, worry and feel guilty about having a messy house, or not remembering details, or being able to keep up with appointments well, or forgetting to get groceries, or losing things around the house. I’m able to just let it go and tell myself, of course, you lost your keys again, Sara! (Yes, I talk to myself! Do you?) It makes total sense with the way my brain works – I move very quickly from one thought to the next and am not methodical or deliberate in anything I do. And that’s okay! I am able to let the things I don’t do well go and ask for help from others who do those things well, and then own my strengths instead.

Carol Tuttle, The Child Whisperer Author of Dressing Your TruthSometimes we have parents who don’t understand our nature and raise us to be more like them. Most have the best of intentions, but just don’t understand that we all have different natures. Thankfully my parents also loved me just the way I am and they didn’t try to make me be like them, so I am very lucky that way as I’m sure many of you have not had the same experience.

Carol Tuttle has created so many other useful resources like Dressing Your Truth. If you are a parent, I highly recommend Carol Tuttle’s podcast – The Child Whisperer, and her book, “The Child Whisperer.” It is SO empowering to know the nature’s of our children so that we can support them in the way they were created and helped them to thrive. Again, it relieves so much stress and worry in raising children.

See my other inspirational posts here:

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How I Stopped Striving and Found Peace

Ever feel like a hamster, in a gigantic room with millions of other hamsters, all running on wheels? Going, going, going but not really getting anywhere. Not getting happier, not feeling any more special or more satisfied? I know I have for a long time, but for the first time in my life, I’m truly letting that mindset of striving go, and embracing peace.

Ego says, once everything falls into place, I'll find peace. Spirit says, once I find peace, everything will fall into place." Marianne Willaimson

We still think the grass is always greener on the other side!

I have lived most of my life in this mindset and thought I had finally moved beyond it! But I really hadn’t. Once I started owning my own businesses, the chase, the never ending chase/rat race continued. Always seeking something better, bigger, more grand. If only I accomplish that, I’ll be truly happy. If I can live in that neighborhood and my kids can go to that school, I’ll be happy. If we can make more money, my life would be so much better. If only we could go on more vacations, get more massages, travel, remodel our house, if I could lose 10 more pounds, lose that cellulite, fix my baby belly, have a perfect body, if my husband would be more romantic, if my kids would always “behave.” It never ever ends. Just writing all of that stresses me out! I felt like a hamster on a wheel – stuck in that cage. Until I finally GOT IT. Lightbulb!

There isn’t really anything that we need, they’re all wants.

I need nothing. I have come to realize that there is truly nothing that I need. I am whole, worthy, special and important just as I am. There is nothing I need to accomplish or do to be more special.

So in essence, there is nothing that I need. I realized that all of the things, and titles and jobs I thought I needed are actually just wants. None of them complete me or truly make me happy, only temporarily so. They are merely temporary and earthly wants and desires. Knowing this has relieved so much stress for me! This stress could also be called resistance and when we bring resistance into the equation, we then make the process of getting what we want (because we think we NEED it), much more difficult, arduous, and add trials like hurting relationships because we use other people as a means to get what we want.

  • I don’t need a new car, but I’d like one.
  • I don’t need a bigger house, but it’d be nice to have more space.
  • I don’t need to go to the gym, but I’d like to.
  • I don’t need that promotion, but it’d be exciting to accomplish that.
  • I don’t need more money, but it’d be nice to buy more of what I think I want.
  • I don’t need my kids to go to that school, but I’d like for them to.
  • I don’t need for my kids to make good grades, but it’d be nice for them to.
  • I don’t need to lose weight, but it’d be nice to be healthier and feel better.
  • I don’t need to fit into my clothes from before my babies were born, but it’d be nice to be healthy.
  • I don’t need my business to keep growing, but it would be exciting if it did.
  • I don’t need to travel and see the world, but I think it would be fun.
  • I don’t need to write a blog post every week, but I’d like to.
  • I don’t need to grow my social media following, but I’d like to.
  • I don’t need for my children to be perfectly behaved, but it sure is nice when they are.
  • Technically, I don’t even need food and water because I don’t even have to be alive!

Peace doesn't come from getting what we want, but from remembering who we are. - Marianne Williamson

What we are all chasing is peace.

All of the striving, the straining, the grasping the world is out doing, especially in the United States where accomplishment and outward success are KING, is all just an outward symptom of a great illness of a lack of peace. I am not enough unless I have this or that. I will not be happy until I have that. The easiest thing to do is to turn to things to satisfy because they are right in front of us. We can see, and touch and taste and feel them. So we grab onto this idea or that idea. Think we need this job, rank or promotion, or this house or neighborhood, or school, or think we have to look this certain way or be this certain weight in order to be happy.

Those things were never meant to complete us or make us happy. They were simply meant to bring us temporary joy, to add to the adventure, fun and rich experience that life on earth can be! Not fulfill your innermost desires.

It’s like begging someone who doesn’t love you to marry you and love you back. They’ll never be able to give you what you want.

What is inner peace then?

Inner peace is knowing that we are significant, special, important and loved just as we are – without a single accomplishment, title or experience to our names. We are enough simply because we exist! Then, it’s knowing that “the Lord is my shepherd.” God is taking care of it all! The universe we live in is so gigantic we haven’t even begun to understand it’s enormity. Heck, we barely even understand our own bodies, emotions and minds! We know so little, yet we worry and worry. This is where faith brings peace. Faith that God’s got my back. I don’t have to do it all in my own strength. And things are always working out for me.

"The Lord is my shepherd - I lack for nothing." Psalms 23:1

Life then becomes our work of art!

So then all of the desires I have become part of the experience of making my life fun and adventurous! They can also give me purpose and make my part of the world better than before I existed. I’ve started to see life as my canvas – instead of what do I have to have in order for me to be happy? I know now that I need to cultivate peace and contentment within my own spirit and heart first. After that, then I ask, “what would I like to add or do in my life that would add beauty, fun, adventure, purpose?”

It’s knowing that no matter what, even if I die, yes leave this earth, I WILL BE OKAY. Why? Because the only thing over which I have control is my attitude, my outlook, my thoughts and no matter my circumstances, I will be okay because I CHOOSE to be okay.

I hope and pray this post blesses you and brings you closer to peace, knowing you are ENOUGH and loved beyond your wildest imagination!

See my other inspirational posts here:

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How to Let Go and Surrender

The moment of surrender is not when life is over, it's when it begins. - Marianne Williamson

Growing up in church, I was always taught to trust and believe, to have faith that God is always working out things for my good. But I didn’t really feel or understand that and wasn’t sure how to actually do live it out in everyday life…until now! I’m sharing my journey of how I began to truly trust and how it led to surrender and peace.

The moment of surrender is not when life is over, it's when it begins. - Marianne Williamson

I was standing at my kitchen sink…

I’ll never forget a few weeks ago when I realized I had truly surrendered to God, that I truly felt peace about my life. I was standing in my kitchen washing dishes, which is where, oddly enough, I have many of my epiphanies and light-bulb moments. You, too? It just hit me like a ton of bricks – I actually felt peace. This is what peace feels like – I felt joy, contentment, calm, rest. Like deep, still waters and even though I’m in a lot of action on the outside, I have this underlying stillness and peace that keeps me grounded and connected to the spirit of God within me.

The peace was such a foreign feeling for me that at first, it actually felt like laziness! Like, I no longer had this insatiable urge to be accomplishing and doing things anymore. I was much more present, enjoying the smaller, everyday moments with my family.

So how did I get to this point?

I changed those negative tapes

I have been speaking truth over my life and changing the negative, harmful tapes that were playing in my head for most of my life for three years now (see my original post – How I Broke Free of Complaining and Found Joy). So really, the journey began there. But that was only the very beginning!

I stopped trying to be perfect

I had such a tight grip on my life. When I first became a mom, I was basically OCD about the food, clothes, activities, and toys my kids could play with. I went so far as to basically we were not going to believe in Santa Claus because I didn’t want to teach my children a lie! Trying to be being perfect truly became a prison of my own making. It was putting all of the power and control in my hands, instead of truly letting go and allowing the power of the universe (God) work through me and work on my behalf. 

You get what you focus on

Sure there are lots of things out there that can harm us and I truly believe we invite those harmful things into our lives as we FOCUS on them. So the key is to focus on all of the good that is in our families, homes and even in the world and we invite the good in instead of the bad and reduce a ton of stress!

I was super anxious about all of the toxins in our world (which I have so many posts about on this blog!). We still have a pretty toxin-free home, but I no longer stress about what will happen when we have things that aren’t natural around the house. Really employing the 80/20 rule!

I was living in total fear

I didn’t realize it then, but I was living in fear. Fear that I would fail as a mom. So if I controlled everything I thought I would be a perfect mom and then I couldn’t fail! Ha! We know that isn’t even possible, but I didn’t realize I was operating from that place. It was subconscious (which is why self-awareness is so important!).

I became so strict about food that I wouldn’t let my children have a cup of soda at a birthday party or eat any candy that wasn’t dye-free and free and perfect, which means they didn’t enjoy much when we were out and about. Poor kids! At least they were young enough to not think much of it.

I would also tell the grandparents what to buy for the kids so that we would only have battery-free, wooden toys that were educational and served a purpose. LOL! I can laugh about it now. Loosen up, girlfriend! Live a little!

Fear increases stress, which raises inflammation

All of those decisions were based in total fear, and the stress of that fear I truly believe outweighed any benefits that eating super healthy food was giving me! I think they cancel each other out, because fear causes stress. Stress causes your body to produce more cortisol and adrenaline, and increases inflammation which is the root cause of all disease!

I started to change how I thought about food – that it is not something to be restricted and controlled but something to be enjoyed! It is for nourishment, too. I still eat pretty healthy, and enjoy sweets when I want to and do not allow the guilt to come in when I do.

Things are always working out for me. - Abraham Hicks

I started to trust in my intuition

This became my new mantra! To truly believe that God’s got my back, I’m not out here on my own having to figure things out.

I began to learn to trust my intuition, that still small voice within that is always right when I listen to it. I truly believe that is the voice of God within me! But now that I listen to it and ACT on it, the small voice of intuition has become loud for me! I feel like I hear so clearly from God now and I can act on things that may seem crazy or weird on the outside, but I have peace knowing I’m following the right way for ME.

Everything is working out for my good. God’s got this!

Surrender is going with the flow

I have begun to learn the art of going with the flow, which is a form of self-care and grace! When I’m tired, I trust that God’s got my back and it’s okay to rest. What I’d like to get done is what I’d LIKE to get done, not need to get done. It’s okay to stop and take a break. In fact, when I give into it instead of pushing myself through to exhaustion, I come back filled up with more creativity than ever! And I’m a much better mom, wife, friend – everything!

When I have energy, I do more. We are so conditioned to push through like it’s a badge of honor! We ignore our bodies’ and spirits’ signals and end up making poor decisions and often doing things we regret and crashing our health. It’s not worth it!

I can still be successful AND surrender. Especially as an entrepreneur, this was a BIG lesson for me to learn! It’s not either or, it’s BOTH, and it may not be in the time frame I wanted it to be in, but that’s okay. Most time frames are man-made and are a time line for someone else, not for everyone. What is MY timeline? That’s all that matters!

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How to Not Take Things Personally

There is a huge amount of freedom when we choose to take nothing personally. - Don Miguel Ruiz

Do you struggle with what other people think of you? Would you like to take things less personally? I am finding freedom from worrying about what people think of me and it is liberating!

Imagine Feeling Confident…

Imagine this – you walk into a room feeling confident, standing tall, not thinking even once about what others might be thinking of your hair, clothes, shoes, personality, etc. Imagine posting on Facebook and not worrying about if people will like it. Imagine going for the job or career you really want and only being concerned about how YOU feel about your decision, rather than what your family and friends will think of your decision.

There is a huge amount of freedom when we choose to take nothing personally. - Don Miguel Ruiz

Learned this lesson as a blogger!

I had to learn this early on as a blogger. I have gotten rude and even hateful comments from time to time here on the blog. The larger the blog grew,  the more they came. That’s the nature of putting ourselves out there. Thankfully I quickly learned that those comments had nothing to do with me, and they say way, way more about the person saying them than they do about me! I mean, really, who has the time and energy to sit behind a keyboard and troll, saying hateful things over the internet? Why would I let that kind of person’s opinions have any power over me?

Everyone is in their own little world

Everyone is in their own little world – what someone else thinks or says of you has everything to do with them and nothing to do with you. Their opinion of you will only affect you if you allow it to, IF you give it power over you!

I have found now that I care much, much less about what others think of me I have less people offering their opinions of my life. They can see that I won’t assimilate their beliefs into mine, so they stop trying! Win-win! I don’t feel the need to defend myself for my decisions and trust myself and my own instincts so much more.

Mentally Detach Yourself

I was able to detach myself from their words and attitudes and realize they got their own junkity-junk going on and it doesn’t have anything to do with me. It was so empowering and freeing!

How?

Mentally detach yourself from the situation – as if to stand outside your body and look on the situation like an outsider would. To be able to see the problem is not you, but about the person who has the limiting beliefs, their own hurt and pain they’re dealing with (oftentimes it’s still from childhood that they haven’t dealt with), and you are separate from them. This has helped me tremendously! I now see the truth.

People will love you. People will hate you. And none of it will have anything to do with you. - Abraham Hicks

Happiness is an Inside Job

You cannot make someone else feel happy – happiness is an individual, inside job for each person. We are not responsible for each other’s unhappiness either. No matter the actions of others, we have all of the power over how it makes us feel or what we believe about it.

Our Viewpoint is Made-Up by Us!

People’s opinions and thoughts pass through their own filters, most of which are muddy, brown, and scratched from pain, hardships, and beliefs they pick up along the way. So they see us through their own filters of unworthiness, of not feeling like they are enough, of lack and discouragement. Then they pass opinions on us based on those made-up beliefs! It’s totally illogical that we would then take those opinions to be the truth of what is or who we are!

We do the same to other people. Keep in mind that how you feel about others is a reflection, a mirror, of how you see yourself. If you find yourself jealous of people who seem more successful, more happy, have more money, or a great marriage and family, you’re feeling like you’re not enough. Or feeling like you’re not worthy of love and belonging.

The Four Agreements

This is an amazing book (see it here)! It really helped me to change my perspective on not taking things personally as one of the four agreements is “Don’t Take Anything Personally” by Don Miguel Ruiz. It is a really powerful book that just might shake up everything you currently believe about how the world works!

“In The Four Agreements, bestselling author don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.”

“Don’t take anything personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.” – Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

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How to Stop Beating Yourself Up

I am always doing the best that I can. - Sara McFall

I am done, so so done, with beating myself up. I’ve found another way to still accomplish my goals and get stuff done by being kind and gracious with myself, and I am so much happier and more at peace! Here’s how I’ve done it.

I am always doing the best that I can. - Sara McFall

I Am Always Doing the Best that I Can

This is my new motto, my mantra! I literally say it daily when I need to.

We humans seem to be professionals at beating ourselves up. We can be so hard on ourselves and it doesn’t serve to motivate us, it certainly doesn’t make us happy, and most of the time it actually sabotages our own desires and dreams.

As psychologytoday.com puts it: “instead of helping you reach your goals or become a better version of yourself, self-criticism belittles you and erodes your peace of mind.”

Did you know we can still be both successful AND be kind to ourselves?

So I say mantra this to myself when:

  • I don’t get my workout in for the day
  • I don’t get to the grocery store like I really needed to
  • I don’t get up a weekly blog post
  • I have laundry piled up everywhere
  • I have dirty bathrooms and floors
  • The kids watch more TV that I promised myself I’d let them watch
  • I’m tired (I now allow myself to rest instead of pushing through)
  • I eat “too many” chips or chocolate
  • I lose my patience with the kids
  • I snap and say something rude to my husband
  • I don’t finish the things I’d like to do for my businesses
  • I don’t make my bed or clean my room (still heat my mom’s voice I guess!)
  • The scale isn’t buying or my pants are tight

Stop the Scolding

We are so influenced by our childhoods, and the voices that speak to us when we are little become the voices we hear when we are grown. Thankfully, we can turn that around and aren’t victims of our pasts or we’d all be in a lot of trouble! And don’t we want our own children to hear our positive, gentle voices in their heads when they are adults, and not punishing ones?

Instead of letting that scolding, punishing voice come through, I stop it in its tracks, take a deep breath, and choose kindness for MYSELF. It’s easy to offer kindness, grace and forgiveness to others when we are doing it for ourselves.

It’s okay, Sara, you are doing the very best that you can and THAT IS ENOUGH. (Yes I do talk to myself!)

Forgive yourself for not knowing What You didn't know before you knew it.

Talk to Yourself Like You Would Talk to Your Bestie

Your bestie is having a tough day. She texts you and says she’s crying – there’s a giant pile of dirty laundry, another two piles of clean laundry that she hasn’t folded yet, her bathrooms are dirty and she needs to go to the grocery store. But she’s just too tired to go. You say, “Girlfriend, I totally feel ya! It is tough to get it all done every day. Just go take a bath, drink a glass of wine, and go to bed early. You’ll feel better tomorrow.”

Could you imagine if you talked to her like you talk to yourself? “Gah! What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you do anything right? You failed to do the laundry AGAIN. You’re so behind on keeping the house clean. When are you ever going to get it together?”

She’d never speak to you again, right? So, why do we talk to ourselves this way? Part of it is how we are raised – we hear that same scolding voice we heard when we were 5. Part of it is also our culture – we think we can motivate ourselves to succeed by criticizing and putting ourselves down. Either way, we can change this now, we can turn it around by how we speak to ourselves. Then how we speak to others changes, too. It all starts within first!

Kindness Actually Motivates

There’s an old way of thinking that we must bribe, push, shove, and even punish people, ourselves and especially children, into doing things. It’s like we think we are in the military! It’s actually bullying – we bully ourselves. But thankfully, that old, Newtonian mindset as it’s called, is finally changing!

Think about how others motivate and encourage you – when you are told you’re doing a great job, praised, appreciated, and feel loved, you feel even more excited and motivated to accomplish something. So why not speak to yourself that way?

Positive Discipline by Jane NelsenIt Helps with Parenting

When I was a new mom back in 2009, I started studying the Montessori way of education which allows kids to make lots of their own decisions throughout the day at school. It’s also a way of life at home, a conscious, mindful way of parenting. It resonated with me SO much and I started to implement it at home.

That lead me to a wonderful program that teaches parents how to use positive discipline with their children – called Positive Discipline. There are actually teachers all over the country who will come a speak to a group of parents and train them how to use these practices! It was a life-saver for me and helped me to start changing my own self-talk and mindset about me.

Other Helpful Posts

I’ve done a lot of work on changing my self-talk (conscious/positive language) and breaking the cycle of comparing myself to others. I also used this mindset to teach myself to learn to LOVE exercise instead of punishing myself with it.

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Why I Ditched Pads and Tampons for a Menstrual Cup

Ditch the pads and tampons for a menstrual cup!

Ladies, I’ve got to let you in on a little secret that’s changed my life! Well, at least for one week every month. The amazing menstrual cup! I’ve ditched pads and tampons, saving myself lots of money, for this pretty pink thing. In this article, I’ll share with you the pros and cons of using one, and how it’s making my life easier.

Ditch the pads and tampons for a menstrual cup!

Chemicals in Pads and Tampons

Ladies, we are gonna get right down to it, and use the V word. Uh-huh. You ready? We are gonna get personal!

Did you know that the tissues in your vagina (v-word!) are very sensitive? Sorry, dumb question. Obviously you already know that! Check out this quote from time.com:

“Unlike something you swallow, substances you place inside your vagina may not go through the body’s typical elimination and metabolic processes, says Ami Zota, an assistant professor of environmental health at George Washington University. Instead, tampon chemicals are absorbed by the vaginal mucosa, and from there are able to pass almost directly into your bloodstream.”

So, the next logical question is, what is in our pads and tampons?

Artificial Fragrances

Yes, also called, phthalates. It may seem really nice to try to eliminate some period odor with a fake scent, but those phthalates, a class of endocrine disruptors, have been linked to lower IQ’s and higher rates of asthma. What? Crazy, right? There was actually a study done on this, if you’d like to read it! Plus endocrine disruptors do exactly that – mess with your endocrine system. Thyroid, adrenals, estrogen, hormones like estrogen and progesterone, pituitary gland, and more.

Dioxins

A chemical that’s part of the bleaching process to bleach the fibers used in pads and tampons. These are known to be highly toxic carcinogens.

According to the EPA (article here),

Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, damage to the immune system, and can interfere with hormones.

Instead of the highly controversial Gardisal vaccine to prevent cervical cancer (and causes a host of horrible side effects), perhaps consider organic tampons or a menstrual cup?! I dunno, just a thought…

A woman's dream - a menstrual cup! Ditch pads and tampons and save yourself from toxic chemicals

All About the Menstrual Cup

So enough about the bad news, let’s get the good stuff! I’m gonna be totally open and real with you about these cups.

Why I decided to get one

I’ve known for years that there were lots of chemicals in pads and tampons, so i started buying organic ones. First of all, many of the organic pads I’ve bought were very expensive and terrible, I would leak at night while sleeping. Obviously not a good thing! I knew I didn’t want those chemicals every month, but trying the menstrual cup sounded so weird! Like, how can that actually work? And is it messy? (Now, I did like the organic tampons.)

Finally, two of my friends were telling me how they’d been using it for years and I knew then I had to at least try it.

So I went to Amazon and chose the Pixie Cup (there are many brands). I liked that I could get a box with two different sizes to be able to find the right fit, they have a nice tab to make removing it easy, and they come with pretty pink storage bags!

Finding the Right Fit

We are about to get really personal here! Might be TMI, but I know you’ll want to know like I did! So, my friend told me how she had to have a shorter cup because her vagina is short. When I used the short one, I leaked out for an entire day and I almost gave up on them!

Then I tried the longer one that holds more, and voila! Perfect fit and I was able to wear it 8-10 hours with no problems.

How to Use a Menstrual Cup - complete tutorial and funny TMI moments!

How to Use It

The cups do come with instructions on their one, but here are my tips!

  • Lube it up! I’d use some carrier oil, like almond, grapeseed, olive, fractionated coconut, coconut, anything to lube it up for your first time using it. I suggest getting something with a pump top so it’s easy to squirt on every time (don’t wanna reach a dirty hand into a bucket of coconut oil if you know what I mean! LOL)
  • Fold it in half (like in the picture below)
  • Slide it up there, not too far, but as far as is comfortable.
  • Feel around the other edges of it to make sure it has fully created a suction, that there are no folds. Done!
  • You can leave in for up to 12 hours. I wore mine overnight with no problems!
  • To remove, pull on the little tab WHILE sitting on the toilet (Don’t stand up! It’ll make a mess!)
  • Pop it out and pour into the toilet. Then reinsert.
  • Wash with hot water and soap, or even boil when your period is finished. It actually isn’t necessary to wash it every time you remove it.

How to fold a menstrual cup

Cons of Menstrual Cups

The only thing I don’t like about them is that when I remove the cup, my hand does get all….ummm…yeah. Bloody. It feels gross! So I only take them out when I’m at home or another person’s home where the sink is right there and I can wash my hands in order to pull my hands and open the door! But thankfully, the large cups hold a lot, so I think most women can leave it in while at work.

Or come prepared with a small package of baby wipes in your purse and wipe off your hands in the stall.

So there ya have it! What do you think? Would you give them a try?

Essential Oils for Blood Flow and Cramps

I have a magical, magical oil I use every month right before and during my period that I get from Young Living, Progessence Plus! It balances the Progesterone hormone in women which helps with all of the symptoms we don’t like about periods – cramps, moodiness, exhaustion, heavy flow. I used to have to take Tylenol for my cramps and my flow was so heavy that I felt like I couldn’t leave the house the first few days of it! But not anymore thanks to this gem! You can get it through me just by itself (you’ll just pay full price), or get it 24% off when you join as a member with one of our starter kits (which are incredible!).

https://www.instagram.com/p/BbmLi5rBWpw/?taken-by=wholelifeoils

See the full video here!

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Why We are More than Our Labels

Sara McFall

If you were to strip away all labels, would you still feel worthy? For most of us, the answer really is no. We would feel like we aren’t contributing or important at all. So how do we find our identity and worth without titles, accomplishments, and labels?

Why we are more than our labels, and how to fix your identity crisis

We are more than our labels or titles

I’ve recently been realizing how my identity truly isn’t my story – it’s not where I’ve traveled, not my degree or education, not who I married, not that I’m a mom, or a wife, or my beliefs, or how many kids I have. It’s not even how my parents raised me, my personality type, or that I’m a woman, or American, or white, or 5’ 2” (don’t laugh ) or an entrepreneur, singer, dancer, and certainly not how I appear on social media!

We are not our problems or mistakes

We all have past stories that we’ve relived in our minds and told so many people about that they are now part of our identities. Many stories that we are not even really ready to release. It feels scary not knowing how you’ll live without that label, that title. As silly as it sounds, I’d become a victim of eczema.

We even go so far as to allow ourselves to become victims of that story, or event, or label or experience. What’s your victim story? Do you have an autoimmune disease? A disability? A learning “disability?” Do you have abuse from your past? A traumatic event that you’ve allowed to define you? Fertility issues?

To know yourself - quote by Eckhart Tolle

Labels we make up:

  • Job title
  • List of accomplishments
  • Education or lack thereof
  • Number of children
  • No children
  • Married or single
  • A disease
  • An autoimmune disease
  • Weight, body shape or height
  • Age
  • Stage of life
  • Nationality
  • Gender
  • Skin color
  • Personality type
  • Love language
  • Hair type – curly, straight, kinky, short, long, medium, thin, thick, wiry, etc etc!
  • Married, divorced, single
  • Twin mom, boy mom, girl mom
  • ADHD, ADD, anxiety, depression
  • Ancestry, family history
  • Our sexuality
  • Our mistakes

Is this WHO we are? It’s what I used to think I was. But not anymore!

It may sound silly, but I identified with eczema 

For the longest time, I had eczema and I identified with the eczema. Two years ago, I started taking some amazing supplements and forgave myself and a few others, and had this massive spiritual cleansing because of it. My eczema disappeared!

It healed and then I missed it!

And guess what? I found it was strange at first, like I MISSED it. It had become my story – I had told so many people about it, I wrote blog posts about it, I taught my business members about it. I had literally let i

t become part of my identity. I had also let many other things become part of my identity.

We even attach ourselves to good things like a degree, or a rank, title, being a “boy mom” or “twin Mom.” It’s a wonderful way to find communities to belong to, but first we must belong to ourselves. And we all belong to each other, and most of all, to God.

The same God who created galaxies decided the world needed you!

What IS our identity?

Our identity is our essence, it’s so much greater than the physical manifestations we see.

Eckhart Tolle, one of my favorite spiritual authors and teachers, says that we are like the ocean. The wave, or ripple on top is what is seen, the physical manifestation. But we are so, so much more than that! We are the vastness of the ocean. We are eternal – many believe we continue living on after this physical life as spiritual beings. Some believe we started as spiritual beings, come into these physical bodies, and go back into the spiritual realm.

None of that can be proved, but for millennia one thing is sure – we humans have always recognized that there is way more to this life that what we are seeing right here and now. And I believe we are all equal, one, all physical manifestations of the glory of the same God who made 430 solar systems in just the Milky Way galaxy alone!!! What?! Try to even imagine just that.

Do you see how labels limit us?

When we begin to believe we ARE our labels, we can completely miss exciting opportunities that come our way because our thinking is so rigid in thinking it not’s “who I am.” So we turn it down or miss it altogether. We even miss friendships or relationships because the person doesn’t have the same labels as us. What matters more is that you’re of like MIND, than the physical manifestations. Though the physical manifestations are often similar for those of like mind.

They put us in tiny little boxes, as if that’s all we are. As if your sexuality, job, family situation or religion is all there is to you. For a while, I only took on the identify of being a mom and limited myself to just that. I know many moms can relate to this! We lose ourselves in motherhood, but the issue was that we were lost before becoming mothers.
If we strip away our titles and accomplishments, are we still worthy?

Strip away all of those labels – are you still worthy?

What would you feel like if all of those labels were stripped away? Would you still be worthy? Would you still be enough? Would you still know that you are massively loved in a way the human mind can’t even begin to comprehend?

To walk in freedom, you must be willing to change your story. Change your identity.

How I Found Emotional Freedom and You Can, Too!

See also, my Top 10 Tips for Emotional Freedom

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Calm Essential Oil Spray Recipe

Calm the Crazies Essential Oil DIY Recipe

Calm the crazies with this super easy essential oil DIY spray recipe! It smells so good you could use it as perfume, to freshen up linens, and many other things.Calm the Crazies Essential Oil DIY Recipe

This is so easy to make and use, and is actually effective when you use high quality essential oils like the ones I use from Young Living!

How Does it Work?

The aroma of essential oils affects the limbic system of the brain, which is the part that controls memories and emotions. We can literally calm anxious, worrying thoughts, and help to change negative thoughts into positive ones.

Peace and Calming is a super special blend. It is a gentle, sweet blend of Ylang Ylang, Orange, Tangerine, Patchouli, and Blue Tansy. This fragrant oil is a wonderful addition to your meditation, evening routine, or playtime with the kids. It creates a relaxing environment that’s especially great for homes with children. You’ll love that you can use this oil for you children’s bedtime and then for yourself for a moment of quiet after the house has settled down.

Frankincense is an amazing oil – we like to say if it was good enough for Jesus, then…well, you know! It’s good enough for us. It is a rich, woodsy oil that is very high in a chemical compound called sesquiterpenes that are able to cross the blood-brain barrier and help the brain.

How to Make It

Supplies needed:


Directions:

  • Put the pinch of salt in the bottom of the spray bottle
  • Add the essential oils
  • Add the water
  • So easy a baby can do it!

Other Calming Essential Oils to Try

Peace and Calming smells so sweet and children usually respond REALLY well to that oil, so it’s one of my favs, but some others that would work well include:

  • Lavender
  • Cedarwood
  • Northern Lights Black Spruce
  • Sandalwood
  • Myrrh
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Vetiver
  • Gathering (blend of lavender, Northern Lights Black spruce, geranium, frankincense, Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, Ylang yang, vetiver, cinnamon, and rose.)
  • Grounding (blend of White fir, Black spruce, Ylang yang, Pine, Cedarwood, Angelica, and Juniper)
  • Inner Child (blend of orange, tangerine, Ylang yang, Royal Hawaiian sandalwood, Jasmine, Lemongrass, Spruce, Bitter orange, and Neroli)
  • Stress Away (blend of Copaiba, lime, cedar wood, vanilla, ocotea, and lavender)
  • Release (blend of Ylang ylang, Olive fruit oil, Lavandin, Geranium, Royal Hawaiian™ sandalwood, Grapefruit, Tangerine, Spearmint, Lemon, Blue cypress, Davana, Kaffir lime leaf extract, Ocoteail, Jasmine, Matricaria, Blue tansy, and Rose)

How to Use It

Just spray into the air when you need to freaking calm down (LOL) and then take a few yoga breaths! It’s also super effective for children! It also works great to spray on pillows and blankets, but the Peace and Calming does have a bluish tint, so be careful when it comes to using it on light fabrics as it could stain.

Another idea would be to just diffuse these oils, which is super dee duper easy!

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How I Found Emotional Freedom (Top 10 Tips)

How I Found Emotional Freedom and You Can, Too!

I have spent the past three years diving into personal development and can honestly say I have found emotional and spiritual freedom! My passion is helping others to also find this freedom – it has helped me to be successful in my business, my marriage, with my children and even my friends.

How I Found Emotional Freedom and You Can, Too!

#1 – Release Bitterness and Forgive

I truly believe that bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness is one of the number one causes of unhappiness, depression, autoimmune diseases, and pain that we have. It is like a nasty tumor that grows and grows until it is removed.

I had become extremely bitter towards someone in my family and couldn’t even stand the thought of being around this person. It was eating me alive and really stealing my joy!

I think many of us want to forgive, but truly aren’t sure how to do it! I was able to walk through a forgiveness method at a Dani Johnson seminar, First Steps to Success. The eczema I had for 16 years literally disappeared after I released this bitterness. It was truly amazing!

Everyone is truly doing the best that they can 

First you must realize that everyone, yes everyone, is doing the very best that they can. And we have to choose to see them the way that God sees them – see their potential and focus on the good attributes they do have. But it’s hard to do that if we aren’t doing it for ourselves first.

Often, we are so hard on ourselves and really beat ourselves up, so we end up doing it to others, too. So the key is to first, extend that love and grace to yourself. Once you realize that YOU have been doing the best you can, even on the days when you’re tired, discouraged, sad, lonely – even then you were doing the best that you could with the energy, self-esteem and love, knowledge and understanding you had at that time.

I was able to forgive, ironically, once I understood my own personality and the way I operate and was able to fully accept and love who God had created me to be. I felt free to be me, and that freed me to love and accept others right where they’re at because I felt whole and loved.

#2 – Self Talk & Affirmations

Most of us scold ourselves, put ourselves down, and hardly ever speak well of ourselves to others. We think this is humility. It’s actually the opposite and is a form of pride! It’s insecurity, which is a pride.

See yourself as God sees you – pure, positive energy that is loved unconditionally. You are whole, you are healed, you are beautiful and intelligent. Be careful to not call yourself names, or criticize yourself or put yourself down. Be careful about judging yourself for past decisions or the way you use to do things – you did the best you could at the time and so is everyone else.

I recommend Louise Hay’s, Power Affirmations book to get you started.

#3 – Celebrate Yourself!

Lisa Nichols, one of my absolute favorite motivational speakers, says that we expect other people to celebrate us more than we are celebrating ourselves. So, to help with that, every morning she looks at herself in the mirror and says 7 things she’s proud of herself for, 7 things she forgives herself for, and 7 things that she commits to herself for that day. How powerful! Lisa has really rocked my world and I highly recommend her book, “Abundance Now!

#4 – Learn to Love Yourself

Another one of my favorite teachers, Louise Hay, has many books and videos about doing mirror work and teaches you how to learn to love yourself. My favorite two books are Mirror Work and the Love Yourself, Heal Your Life Workbook.

She trains you to speak kindly to yourself in the mirror, by first starting out by saying “I love you, I really, really love you.” Believe it or not, it’s very difficult for most people to do that as we are so used to not loving ourselves. It can even be painful at first, especially if you weren’t used to hearing that you’re loved as a child. The amazing thing is, God can use this method to restore what you never had, and you have it now! Restoration is a beautiful thing.

The Bible verse, “Love your neighbor as yourself” is very well-known, but the part that I think is left out is that everyone IS loving our neighbors as ourselves! How’s that? Since most of us have a rough relationship with ourselves, we are treating others how we treat ourselves. So the problem is solved when we change the relationship we have with ourselves. I’ve seen it over and over again in my own life. Powerful, isn’t it?

#4 – Use Essential Oils

The aroma of essential oils actually affects the limbic system of the brain, which controls emotions and memory. Did you know you can actually change the neuropathways in your brain using affirmations and essential oils? You can even change the painfulness of memories, or erase them altogether with the power of essential oils. I use only oils from Young Living, as there’s are so pure and many on the market are not (an oil only has to have 5% pure essential oil in it to be called Pure, Therapeutic Grade!). So I can’t recommend using oils that might contain toxins or fillers that could actually hinder this process.

So, the oils I use for emotional health include:

Also, check out the Aroma Freedom Technique. It’s an amazing protocol that only takes 20-30 minutes and uses essential oils to help you release painful memories that created beliefs (which aren’t true) and are holding you back. I have done it multiple times and it helps so much!

#5 – Speak Life!

We can actually harm ourselves even more when we speak words of death over ourselves and our loved ones. Have you ever said, “Gah! You’re killing me!” “You’re making me crazy!” Or go and complain to your friends about how awful your kids are, how much housework you have to do, how annoying you think your husband is being, how your bank account is drained…it goes on and on! It makes us feel worse and worse, and that solves nothing.

We get what we focus on, so let’s focus on what we love and the things we’d like to bring into our lives, not what we can’t stand. Start looking up the law of attraction online – I highly recommend the movie, The Secret, which is free on Netflix right now!

Here’s a video that really spoke to me about speaking life and conscious language:

#6 – Practice Gratitude

I have an entire post about how I was able to ditch my nasty habit of complaining and turn it around to gratitude. I still have my complaining moments and days (just part of life!), but overall, I have an attitude of gratitude and it has lowered my stress like you wouldn’t believe! I am so much happier.

A super easy way to get you into this mindset is to keep a gratitude journal. Everyday, write down at least three things you are grateful for. The more you do it, the more pages you’ll need. Eventually it will become an overall outlook and not just a thing you do at the end of the day.

 

#7 – Self Care

Exercise, eat well, enjoy yourself, be kind to yourself. As a mama, I have really realized the need for putting on my oxygen mask first. I cannot pour from an empty cup. I take time nearly every single night to pour into MY cup, and then I’m much happier and can freely give to my kids! It helps me to be more patient, loving and see the best in them and myself.

Some ways to give to yourself are: massages, facials, go to the nail salon, get your hair done, take a bath with Epsom salts and essential oils (my fav!), read a favorite or uplifting book, meditate, pray, journal, get more sleep, go for a walk, make exercise and eating well a priority, take up a hobby, etc.

I am protective of my “me” time now and will delay work, house cleaning and laundry to take care of myself. It helps me to be much more productive and happy!

#8 – Laugh and Play More!

This is coming from a driven woman who loves to work! So much so that I’ve gotten really burnt out several times. Laughter really is great medicine – if you’re down in the dumps, watch a silly movie, or read some jokes online. Play with your kids or grandkids and really liven the moment with them – kids are masters of living fully in the moment and playing!

I’ve also learned not to take myself too seriously. To laugh off mistakes, let the small things stay small things, realized that this is a journey and if all I do is enjoy the destinations, I will only enjoy like 4 days out of my whole life! Seriously! Pretty much our entire lives is a journey of expansion, of growing so let’s choose to enjoy it!

#9 – Kick Fear to the Curb

Realized that God has GOT this – practice faith and trust. If he can take care of the birds of the air and the trees of the field, does he not also take care of you?

Have you seen the universe lately? We are but a microscopic speck in the scheme of all that is. We live in a magnificent universe! Yet we worry about things th

Every time a thought of worry or anxiety creeps in, I recommend saying, “Things are always working out for me.” Or repeat a Bible verse or another quote that resonates with you. Whatever you need to do to rewire those pathways in the brain.

#10 – Cut out negative media

I have completely stopped watching the news. Yup, completely! I believe we have a false belief that we NEED to know what’s going on all of the time in order to be functioning citizens. I don’t agree because the thing is, the news doesn’t share ALL of the news. They share what sells, and unfortunately, we are telling them we want more negative news than anything else. So that’s what they give us!

The stories of all of the good that’s going on in our communities isn’t the focus, so I say that the news that’s being shared isn’t even reality. It becomes your reality if you start to believe that there is violence everywhere, that people are worse and worse, and there is not much good left. We literally create our own reality with our thoughts.

But start to change what you focus on, and watch your reality change. I did, and I started to see good EVERYWHERE. Like my 5-6 friends just in my local area who are foster parents and are literally changing entire generations of families for the better. Now that’s newsworthy! Or my church that regularly goes into the streets of Atlanta and loves on the homeless, and the countless other organizations and churches who also do this. The teachers and coaches who inspire their students and help them to see their worthiness and potential. This is my news. It’s a choice to focus on the good or the bad – which one will you choose?

I also unfollowed the “Negative Nancy’s” on Facebook so my Facebook feed isn’t cluttered with political arguments and complaints! I’m very careful what I allow into my heart and mind.

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How to Break Screen Addiction – One Simple Tip

How to Break Screen Addiction (and why you should) - just 1 tip!

In the spirit of New Year’s Resolutions, I wanted to share my uncomplicated, simple method on how I beat my social media/screen addiction as a mama.  Many of us are hoping to make the new year one that is meaningful, fulfilling and productive and excessive social media usage might get in the way of meeting those goals.  This tip can help you get there!

How to Break Screen Addiction (and why you should) - just 1 tip!

My Addiction Journey

I am 31.  A millennial.  I did not grow up with social media.  Yes, there was MySpace, chat rooms and AOL messenger but that is a far cry from what we think of as social media today.  I remember when Facebook started in the early 2000’s and you had to be a college student at a participating campus to register.  I had a Facebook account but don’t really recall using it much in the beginning.  Then suddenly Facebook blew up and completely changed the course of history.  It’s kind of a big deal.  Tons of other social media apps and sites have popped up since then, giving dear ol’ Mom eighteen different ways to see what you had for lunch.  Now I can barely recall that time between opening my Facebook account and becoming addicted to my Facebook account (and other social apps).  Where did the time go?  Oh…wasted scrolling through Facebook.  Touché.

It Started as Finding Support for Motherhood

Becoming a stay at home mom completely changed my usage of social media.  Pre-kid, I would use social media to check in with friends, post pictures of events or parties, read articles on the latest Netflix hit.  

Post-kid I still use it for those things but also use social media to post pictures of my growing son, read parenting articles and connect with other moms.  I quickly found myself in multiple groups where I could post questions (“Does this rash look normal?” “Should my baby be sitting up by now?” “Am I screwing this kid up already?”), offer support and just connect with another adult human being.  In the beginning of my journey as a stay-at-home mom I found this to be very comforting.  I could basically crowdsource any bit of information I was looking for.  I went to my social media for recommendations on everything from nursing bras to baby shampoo to local pediatricians.  

No longer did I have to flounder and make decisions on my own!  I had a tribe who was walking the same path as I was and they were full of knowledge.  

Too Much of  Good Thing – My Tipping Point

Once my son hit about two years, I found myself scrolling through social media more than I ever had before.  I am not sure if it was the pure challenge of parenting a two-year-old or the fact that he was now able to communicate and let me know what he wanted in his own (loud) way.  I needed some mental downtime!  

I noticed that I was no longer spending as much time playing with him, reading to him or just simply being with him while he was exploring.  If he was playing on his own, I quickly escaped to social media land.  I deserved it.  I needed a break.  Somehow 5, 10, 15 minutes could pass in the blink of an eye and I’d only be snapped out of my haze by a screeching toddler who demanded my attention.  I was always so annoyed to be interrupted.  By my own precious baby.  I didn’t want his first memories of me to be of me looking at a screen.  I wanted him to remember me and how I always had time to play with him and be present with him.  And look at him, not a screen.

I was Becoming More Isolated

I also found myself less likely to actually connect with ‘real life’ friends and family.  If I was keeping up with their every move via social media, then why would we need to catch up in person? I would occasionally use social media to connect and meet up with a local mom but that was far and few between.  I was feeling more and more isolated despite being so ‘connected.’  If my husband was driving us somewhere, I would be on my phone the entire time, completely missing a rare opportunity to connect.  

I had to change my habits.  

I Tried It All

I had read articles with tips on how to break social media addiction.  

  • Have designated times of the day where you check social media.
  • Set a timer.  
  • Hide your phone out of sight.  
  • Have your partner change your password.  
  • Delete the app entirely.  

I even installed an app that would block certain social media apps for a time period.  You had to wait out the time or restart your phone.  If my urge was strong I’d restart and be back to scrolling.  I tried it all and nothing seemed to stick.  The urge was too strong and I’d end up back to my old habits in no time at all.  I didn’t want to miss a thing!  I had FOMO – fear of missing out.  Straight up FOMO!

What Finally Worked

If you’ve made it this far, thank you.  I see the irony here.  You’re most likely reading this article on your phone or tablet.  But stick with me, because this tip might click with you.  

I am the type of person that has to come to their own conclusions about things.  People can offer suggestions and help but I am stubborn and want to do things myself.  The same goes with my habit.  I’ve been able to develop and stick with plenty of good habits over the past years.  But all of those things were my decision.  

The Key – you have to make a decision, once and for all that you will break your addiction.  No one can do it for you.  You make decisions for yourself every moment of the day. To use, or not use, social media is one of those decisions we make often.  I had reached a low and knew I needed to change something asap.  You know if you’re really ready to make a change or not.  If you’re not at that place, that’s ok.  Save this article and come back to it.  On your terms.

Use Your Phone Only When Standing!

I was standing in the kitchen one day, scrolling through Facebook and it hit me.  

I could still use social media, but only if I’m standing!  Maybe that would help me cut down my screen time. Standing is just not all that comfortable and normally I’d stand for a few minutes, scroll and then move to our nice comfy sofa.  Once in a reclined position, I could scroll in comfort to my hearts content, liking posts, reading articles and going down the rabbit hole.  

That was it, standing!  

I made the decision, right then and there, that I would only look through social media while standing up.  Not leaning on the counter, not sitting.  Only standing or pacing.  I didn’t think about it much or give myself too much time to examine the pros/cons, I just did it.  

I didn’t tell myself that I had to limit my actual time spent on social media at all.  I could still use it as much as I wanted but only if I was standing or pacing.  I have the app called Quality Time on my phone.  I had installed it earlier to see if I could guilt myself into using my phone less since the app would tell me how much time I spent per app and would give me a warning if I was reaching a predetermined time limit.  That didn’t work obviously, but what was encouraging was seeing my time on my phone drop dramatically in just half a day.  It was so awesome to see how my phone usage had changed in an instant.  

I found myself using my phone so much less, simply because I was standing.  I would use my phone to send an important email, return a quick message from a friend or wish someone a happy birthday.  I found that I was doing more important things with my screen time.  Things that actually did matter to me and enriched my life.  It worked!

It’s Still Working

And it’s still working.  I’ve been able to stick with this and am in such a better place.  I am still able to use social media for fun, learning and connection.  But it’s no longer using me.  I feel so much more in control and now that I’ve been doing this for several months I’ve found that I crave it less and less (it’s a real addiction folks).  I even have days here and there where I don’t look at social media at all.  Something unheard of previously!  I have been working on building fewer but more meaningful friendships with local moms.  I no longer look at my phone while sitting in the car or a restaurant with my hubby.  I have so much more time for true connection with the people that matter most.  All with one simple shift.  

Do it for Our Children

My son is growing up in the digital age.  Younger and younger children are using cell phones and accessing social media.  Every new toy has an app or website to go with it.  Teachers are using texts to communicate with students.  I am not sure how we will handle this with our son as he gets older.  It’s a scary new world (wide web) out there and we will learn to navigate it together.  One thing I do know for certain is that our children learn by watching us.  From very early on they attempt to emulate what their parents do.  I want my son to grow up looking at books, birds in the sky, playgrounds to conquer, people he loves.  Not screens, at least not excessively.  And the only way I can help make that happen is if I lead by example.  He is more important that anything on any screen and I want to show him that.

If this article rang true with you, please share via (you guessed it) social media.  Oh the irony!  If you give my tip a try please let me know how it’s changed your usage.